In absolutely no shocking news the 76ers will select Ben Simmons with the No. 1 pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft. As a lot of people said, there really wasn’t much debate over the last couple of months as some media reports made it seem between Simmons or Duke’s Brandon Ingram.
So what does this mean for the 76ers? They finally got a guy they can build around. With Simmons you can play him anywhere on the court and surround him with players that fit the system. They didn’t have that with Joel Embiid (can’t get on the floor), Michael Carter-Williams (simply wasn’t that good), Nerlens Noel (defensive-minded) or Jahlil Okafor (numbers lie a little on his season). With Simmons, he’s good enough and versatile enough they can pick and choose what type of players to have on the court with him.
Bryan Colangelo can now pick and choose his spots through the rest of the draft. I understand that spacing and shooting is a concern for the 76ers, who will take Simmons and the rumor of trying to trade up and get Dunn at No. 3. But remember they have a No. 24 and No. 26 picks as well, in a draft where we can see possibly five point guards go in the first round.
Don’t be surprised if the 76ers will wait to take someone like a Demetrius Jackson later in the first round. An athletic point guard who can play both positions in the backcourt and is a career 40% shooter from three.
The majority people know the breakdown on Simmons game. He drew comparisons to LeBron heading into college because of his size and ability to handle the ball, but struggled with his outside jumper. The one thing Simmons does extremely well? Pass the ball with both hands and has a wide variety of passes he can make. He’s great at switching the court with a pass, which doesn’t seem like much but in the NBA game will often lead to an open corner jumper. He’s also a great rebounder, which means the Sixers can play him at the four or five spot if they want to go small ball while he can still dictate the offense with the ball in his hands.
His obvious weakness is shooting and stretching the floor, which is why right now the fit with Philly’s roster is a little unsettling. But, don’t be surprised to see them move either Noel or Okafor to get another shooter and hope a lottery selection like Nik Stauskas can finally pay off.
The important thing here is this is the smart decision for Philly. Too often we see teams overthink the draft – sup New Jersey Nets and Kobe Bryant. If you believe Simmons will continue to be the best prospect in this Draft – which everyone seems to think – you have to take him.
Now the Lakers get to draft Brandon Ingram then all the shit hits the fan with the No. 3 spot. Let’s get to Thursday.